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Utah Lawmaker Proposes Bill Requiring Pornography to Have a Warning Label

  • Amanda Casanova Contributor
  • Published Feb 06, 2020
Utah Lawmaker Proposes Bill Requiring Pornography to Have a Warning Label

A proposal for a law in Utah would require that pornography in the state bear a warning label.

According to Relevant Magazine, Rep. Brady Brammer is sponsoring the bill.

The label would warn of the dangers of porn to minors, including “brain development, emotional development, and the ability to maintain intimate relationships.” The label would also say that porn can lead to “harmful and addictive sexual behavior, low self-esteem, and the improper objectification of and sexual violence towards others, among other numerous harms.”

According to the proposal, the warning label would be displayed for about 15 seconds before online videos and images.

“It’s a clear demarcation of, you know, I’m not supposed to be here,” Brammer said. “They could ignore it. But that’s how every warning label works.”

Distributors who do not use the warning label could face a fine of up to $2,500 per violation.

Brammer said the label would be similar to California’s Proposition 65, a law the requires companies to label products that contain chemicals that can cause cancer or birth defects.

“The idea is we’ve already found that ... exposing minors to pornography can be extremely damaging,” the lawmaker said. “We’ve already made that finding as a state. So [the bill] says, well, let’s put a warning label on pornography, and we’re going to enforce it the same way that California’s Prop 65 is enforced.”

Brammer was referring to a 2016 decision, in which, lawmakers in Utah officially declared that pornography was a “public health crisis.”

The official statement, which was passed unanimously, said that “this biological addiction leads to increasing themes of risky sexual behaviors, extreme degradation, violence, and child sexual abuse images and child pornography.”

The American Civil Liberties Union hasn’t taken an official position on the proposal, but Marina Lowe, legislative and policy counsel for the organization said there are major differences between Proposition 65 and Brammer’s proposal.

“Prop 65 talks about exposure to chemicals. The bill talks about exposure to material that may or may not have constitutional protection,” Lowe said.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Thomas Bethge

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and She blogs at The Migraine Runner.